This may get a few chuckles, but for true laughs that have stood the test of time, stick with the original literal-thinker:...

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THE KNITWITS MAKE A MOVE!

A combination of the Dumb Bunnies and Amelia Bedelia, the KnitWits will surely appeal to juvenile humor. Parents? Not so much.

The KnitWit family is moving to a new home, a venture that seemingly consists of walking down the street. Magically, their boxes of belongings are already there and take no time at all to unpack. What’s left to do? Why, have a housewarming party, of course. The family of five busily goes about the house tacking up scarves and hats and sweaters, then turns to the question of treats for their guests. They “serve” a mix of salty and sweet snacks with a tennis racket and put the cake in the freezer to “ice” it. The KnitWits’ “straightening up,” “throwing open the door” for their guests and “toasty” house at the end of a satisfying party also have double meanings that will have readers shaking their heads at Tabby’s easy comedy. Erika Burling’s knit characters, each with his or her own personality and accessories, are plopped into Wildish’s tongue-in-cheek digital illustrations, creating a contrast between the real and the cartoon as well as between the 3-D KnitWits and their flat, illustrated neighbors.

This may get a few chuckles, but for true laughs that have stood the test of time, stick with the original literal-thinker: Amelia Bedelia. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Aug. 27, 2013

ISBN: 978-1-4424-5342-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Little Simon/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: June 15, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2013

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Should be packaged with an oxygen supply, as it will incontestably elicit uncontrollable gales of giggles.

THE DINKY DONKEY

Even more alliterative hanky-panky from the creators of The Wonky Donkey (2010).

Operating on the principle (valid, here) that anything worth doing is worth overdoing, Smith and Cowley give their wildly popular Wonky Donkey a daughter—who, being “cute and small,” was a “dinky donkey”; having “beautiful long eyelashes” she was in consequence a “blinky dinky donkey”; and so on…and on…and on until the cumulative chorus sails past silly and ludicrous to irresistibly hysterical: “She was a stinky funky plinky-plonky winky-tinky,” etc. The repeating “Hee Haw!” chorus hardly suggests what any audience’s escalating response will be. In the illustrations the daughter sports her parent’s big, shiny eyes and winsome grin while posing in a multicolored mohawk next to a rustic boombox (“She was a punky blinky”), painting her hooves pink, crossing her rear legs to signal a need to pee (“winky-tinky inky-pinky”), demonstrating her smelliness with the help of a histrionic hummingbird, and finally cozying up to her proud, evidently single parent (there’s no sign of another) for a closing cuddle.

Should be packaged with an oxygen supply, as it will incontestably elicit uncontrollable gales of giggles. (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: Nov. 5, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-338-60083-4

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: Oct. 13, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2019

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Plotless and pointless, the book clearly exists only because its celebrity author wrote it.

YOUR BABY'S FIRST WORD WILL BE DADA

A succession of animal dads do their best to teach their young to say “Dada” in this picture-book vehicle for Fallon.

A grumpy bull says, “DADA!”; his calf moos back. A sad-looking ram insists, “DADA!”; his lamb baas back. A duck, a bee, a dog, a rabbit, a cat, a mouse, a donkey, a pig, a frog, a rooster, and a horse all fail similarly, spread by spread. A final two-spread sequence finds all of the animals arrayed across the pages, dads on the verso and children on the recto. All the text prior to this point has been either iterations of “Dada” or animal sounds in dialogue bubbles; here, narrative text states, “Now everybody get in line, let’s say it together one more time….” Upon the turn of the page, the animal dads gaze round-eyed as their young across the gutter all cry, “DADA!” (except the duckling, who says, “quack”). Ordóñez's illustrations have a bland, digital look, compositions hardly varying with the characters, although the pastel-colored backgrounds change. The punch line fails from a design standpoint, as the sudden, single-bubble chorus of “DADA” appears to be emanating from background features rather than the baby animals’ mouths (only some of which, on close inspection, appear to be open). It also fails to be funny.

Plotless and pointless, the book clearly exists only because its celebrity author wrote it. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: June 9, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-250-00934-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Feiwel & Friends

Review Posted Online: April 15, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2015

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